If we said that keeping your pants secure will help prevent plastic from damaging our oceans, would you ditch the sweats and drawstrings? For Purpose Recycling is hoping to do just that through a new belt the company says will prevent 10kgs of plastic from entering our oceans.
F.P.R.’s unisex, all-purpose belt is made out of recycled plastic with a webbing strap constructed out of Global Recycled Standard-certified recycled polyester. Available in an array of colors such as Komodo Black, Jeruk Orange, Subak Green, and Lolo Blue, the belt features a D-ring buckle for an easy, adjustable fit. Each belt is made in a Dongguan, China factory that is currently certified by third-party certifier Textile Exchange as Global Recycled Standard.
Circularity was also a priority for F.P.R. when developing the product. The company’s belts were designed to be mechanically and chemically recycled into new raw materials at the end of its life. Belt owners can send the belt back to F.P.R. for recycling in exchange of store credit.
The durable and minimalistic belt is the first in a series of products that aim to raise funds for those in need. Through each purchase, proceeds will go towards recycling infrastructure, income opportunities, and support for coastal communities in Indonesia that do not have access to basic waste services.
“Building waste collection is key to stopping ocean plastic,” said F.P.R. founder and director Erik Sumarkho in a press release. “We build and support cost effective waste collection points in coastal communities in Indonesia that do not have access to basic waste services. This offers members of these communities an opportunity to sell their plastic waste and profit from the initiative.”
Sumarkho, who is a sustainability professional with over seven years of experience working in waste management and conservation, formed the F.P.R. team, including Indonesian recycling engineer Zulfikar and marketing expert Ernesto Sumarkho, as a direct response to the ocean plastic crisis he witnessed during expeditions across Asia Pacific.
“It wasn’t my long term aim to create a belt brand, instead it was to solve the problem of ocean plastic and access to basic waste services,” said Sumarkho. “To ensure we developed a truly incredible product, we worked with Vert Design (Sydney’s best sustainable industrial design agency) to create a prototype.”
Being half-Indonesian, the ocean plastic crisis hits home for Sumarkho. As F.P.R. notes, “Indonesia is the second largest contributor of ocean plastic waste in the world and Java is the highest polluting island of the nation. Currently, around 39% of the total plastic waste in Indonesia is collected; in rural areas, this figure is as low as 16%.” F.P.R.’s product efforts aim to first launch operations in locations around West Papua and West Java in partnership with local non-profit organizations.
We’ve seen Indonesia as the focus of other Earth-friendly, ocean plastic waste-focused projects in the past including Space Available collaborations with artists Peggy Gou and Alex Olson. Space Available’s “Trash for Trees” initiative of recycling and redesigning plastic waste aims to rescue orangutans and replant trees in Indonesia.
In other fashion news, Stain Shade tie-dyed some Manhattan Portage bags that were built from surplus materials.